Rob Wilson, Director at Ashoka UK
Rob joined Ashoka in October 2011. Prior to Ashoka, Rob founded READ International in 2004 to enable student volunteers in Tanzania to support the education system. READ has since provided over 1.5 million books to school children in Tanzania and refurbished close to 100 libraries. He moved on as CEO in 2011 and is now Chairman. Rob has also co-written a book with his wife Nikki about social entrepreneurs in Africa called On the Up. More recently, Rob co-founded and is a trustee of Generation Change to engage young person in the UK in quality of youth social action. Rob is also a trustee of The Key is E, a chariy focused on education and entrepreneurship in Africa. Find Rob on Twitter @Iamrobertwilson and on Linkedin.
Julia Koskella, Fellowship and Venture
Julia joined Ashoka in 2012 to lead our search and selection process for new Ashoka Fellows. Previously, she worked at Global Giving helping grassroots NGOs access crowdfunding, helped set up Move Your Money UK, and worked for an indigenous rights organisation in Ecuador. Julia graduated from Oxford University with a first class degree in Human Sciences. While she was there, she chaired the Environment and Ethics Committee and acted as the founding director of the Oxford Climate Forum. Follow her on Twitter @JuliaKoskella.
Clarice Ramalho, Operations Manager
Clarice joined Ashoka in February 2012 to coordinate events and assist the Ashoka Support Network global leadership team. She is now responsible for revamping the UK operations, boosting the office productivity and strategically mapping stakeholders’ interactions. Prior to joining Ashoka, she ran a travel agency in Brazil and worked as an International Marketing Executive at Auvergne Tourist Board in France. She holds a Master’s degree in Sustainable Tourism, and was lured into the citizen sector by fascinating Ashoka Fellows when carrying out community-based tourism research in Brazil.
Felicity McLean, Head of Challenge Prizes
Felicity joined Ashoka in June 2012 to lead on Communications and Framework Change. She works to 'make shift happen', through powerful storytelling, exceptional innovation and the power of brands, corporates, organisations and key people of influence. As the founding member of a technology startup focussing on employee engagement in CSR, her skills combine partnerships, entrepreneurship and 'tech for good'. She's also a trustee for NGO Childreach International, has an MA in Geography, and a real passion for developing creative and value based partnerships. Find her on Twitter @flickmclean.
Caroline Guyot, Ashoka Globalizer and Partnerships Manager
Caroline joined Ashoka in October 2012 to work on partnerships and strategy. She holds two Masters degrees: one in history and one in diplomacy. Her previous experiences include consulting for a an international microfinance organisation in South Africa, supporting the growth of a young social enterprise in London and analysing African politics for a London think tank. She particularly likes to take on challenging projects, having been the president of a not-for-profit organisation focusing on education in Morocco and undertaking a documentary film project in East Africa.
Elena Koerver, Venture Manager
Elena joined Ashoka in 2013 and leads the search process for new Ashoka Fellows as well as guiding them through Ashoka's rigorous election process. Previously, Elena worked at Convoco - a think tank that seeks to drive social change by bringing leaders from business, politics and academia together and encouraging interdisciplinary debate. She also volunteered for the philanthropy consultancy GivingEvidence. Elena holds a BA in Business Administration from Free University Berlin and a MA in Philosophy and Public Policy from the London School of Economics, where she specialised in the philosophy and politics of climate change.
Viliana Dzhartova, Youth and Changemaker Skills
Viliana joined Ashoka in 2013 to launch and manage Ashoka's education network in the UK, called Changemaker Schools. She works on the selection and engagement of schools in the network as well as collaborating on various youth related projects. Prior to joining Ashoka, Viliana gained experience in the social entrepreneurship sector by working at the Yunus Centre in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and leading several of her own education projects in Bulgaria and France. Viliana holds a BSc in International Business with French from University of Birmingham where she specialised in Inclusive Business Models.
Josephine Korijn, Hybrid Finance Initiative
Josephine joined the Social Finance Initiative at Ashoka in August 2013, specifically to incubate and manage the Hybrid Finance Accelerator. She sits on a few advisory Board including Triodos Private Banking division, a foundation, and a family office, to share her insights on the impact investment and socil finance field. She graduated with honors from Brown University with a B.A. in Development Studies, focusing her thesis research on the perception of risk in the emerging UK social finance field. She has previously worked at SharedImpact, which provides intermediation services for the range of stakeholders in the social investment field. She also founded SEEED student steering committee to organise an annual conference that brings social enterprise support organisations across the US together to share best practice.
Pauline Verhaeghe, Community Engagement
Pauline joined the team in March 2014 to help promote the voice of Ashoka through community engagement. Previously, she founded the GoYoung project, a documentary project featuring young social entrepreneurs from around the world. This has taught her the power of storytelling to inspire others to take action. Pauline has a BA in History and a MA in European Studies. She is passionate about traveling and the evolution of the social entrepreneurship movement.
Margot Mackay, Events and International Visits
Margot joined Ashoka in February 2014 in order to develop a fellowship for international Fellows visiting and scaling in the UK. She is also coordinating events in the UK. Previously, she spent 3 years at Ernst&Young working on financial audits, due diligences and policy evaluations. Margot has a BA in Finance, and a Masters Degree in Entrepreneurship from Paris-Dauphine University. With a strong interest for wine, she founded "Spi&Spi" in 2008, a non-profit that helps young people to reconnection with themselves through contemplation of nature and elevation of the five sense alongside talks and the sharing of a good glass of wine!
Meera Patel, Operations
Meera joined Ashoka in September 2014, after graduating from the University of Cambridge with a degree in History. She works on creating systems to support and enable the UK Team and has an interest in impact measurement. Prior to Ashoka, Meera's experience include investigating and reporting the use of sexual violence as a tool of war, grassroots youth work, interning with John Bird, one of the founders of The Big Issue. Find her on twitter @MeeraNPatel
Ashoka Europe Staff in London
Mark Cheng, Director at Ashoka Europe
Mark is the Director of Ashoka Europe, as well as Ashoka’s senior advisor on social finance, a role sponsored by international law firm Hogan Lovells. Since joining Ashoka originally as an ASN member in 2007, he has assisted many Fellows in raising investment for social causes, in areas including micro-finance, renewable energy, conservation, healthcare and education. Mark is also advisor to several international Ashoka initiatives such as Globalizer, a program for Fellows expanding their work into multiple countries. Mark is founding Director of Chelwood Capital, a social investment firm that supports mission-driven organizations. He has more than 15 years experience in finance, having previously worked at Deutsche Bank and AMBAC Assurance. He serves as Board Member and Trustee for several social enterprises and is a business mentor for the Emerge Venture Lab, an incubator for UK student social ventures.
Johanna Wikblom, Director of Talent & Operations at Ashoka Europe
Johanna joined Ashoka in September 2014 as a European Integrator and is based at the European Hub in London. Johanna joins us most recently from McKinsey & Company in Sweden where she has been working for more than eight years in roles such as Manager of Executive Assistants, Recruiter as well as with operations in the role as Executive Assistant to the Swedish and Scandinavian location leaders. Johanna first got involved with Ashoka in Scandinavia on a volunteer basis a couple of years prior to joining us fulltime. She has throughout her life travelled extensively and has for many years both studied and worked in several different countries. As a result, Johanna has strong knowledge and experience from working with people from different cultures and she has a passion for a strength based approach to people development, team building and leadership.
Ross Hall, Global Leadership at Ashoka Europe
Ross joined Ashoka in November 2014. Ross has founded and grown more than 20 businesses around the world. Over the past 8 years, he has focused his energy on building a ground-breaking education programme that aims to empower and incline young people to be changemakers – to make a better world.The ‘Better World’ programme aims to develop a sophisticated understanding of what quality of life actually is - and a deep knowledge of our inner powers that most determine our quality of life.The programme is currently live with 500,000 children in Zimbabwe and Tanzania, and is now being extended to Ghana, the UK and Mexico. This grew out of earlier projects that Ross conceived and led for Pearson (under the banner of Education for Economic and Social Development), which involved ministries, employers and educators evaluating and improving the effectiveness of education systems, institutions and programmes around the world.
Adam Lent, Director for Research and innovation at Ashoka Europe
Adam is European Director for Research and Innovation at Ashoka. He is developing and implementing Ashoka's vision of a world in which everyone can be a Changemaker. Before joining Ashoka in May 2015, Adam was Director of the Action an Research Centre at the Royal Society of Arts in London. Prior to the RSA, Adam was Head of Economics for the Trades Union Congress (TUC), an experience which he credits with giving him a 'doctorate in politics and campaigning'. His latest book, "Small is Powerful: why the era of big business, big government and big culture is over (and why it's a good thing" is due to be published in early 2016. He combines a deep understanding of how the world is changing, together with practical entrepreneurship in social innovation.